IBM Cloud Pak for Applications

IBM Cloud Pak for Applications V4

By Geoffrey Pirie posted Tue December 10, 2019 02:38 PM


IBM Cloud Pak for Applications V4



Software is eating the world


Marc Andreessen’s statement is nearly a decade old and yet feels just as true today. 


Every business is becoming a software business of some kind, even if the primary customer interaction still happens in the physical world.  As software has evolved, the Cloud (both public and private) and cloud services have emerged as the location where software runs.  With such a dramatic rate of change towards cloud, how can a business evolve its software portfolio and skill base to cope with these changes?


IBM’s Cloud Paks – Middleware anywhere


A hybrid cloud future needs a hybrid cloud approach, an evolution toward portability, choice, and flexibility. As the industry shifts towards hybrid cloud, IBM has evolved. Our middleware portfolio is designed to help customers adopt this hybrid cloud approach by delivering IBM Cloud Paks with Red Hat OpenShift – trusted middleware solutions accompanied by a richly integrated container platform.  


IBM Cloud Pak for Applications brings together all of IBM and Red Hat’s strategic runtime capabilities into the most complete single offering.  Cloud Pak for Applications has the unique advantage of allowing flexible deployment choices to be made so that both existing and new workloads can be supported with a single license.  Moreover, when building new applications in a cloud native style, Cloud Pak for Applications provides additional accelerators to help agile teams rapidly start to build new business value.


Growing cloud-native development experience


The idea of an application being “cloud-native” means that it can benefit from the inherent capabilities the cloud platform has to offer.  These capabilities, such as location-transparency, event driven architectures, or serverless scaling require development teams to adopt new practices and architectural patterns. 


For many teams, the goal of building an application using a microservice architecture can lead to a lot of difficult questions and uncertainty.  Growing experience of building applications in a cloud-native style is therefore a fundamental need, but one that most vendors aren’t focused on.


Cloud Pak for Applications accelerates the rate at which a team can start building applications in a cloud-native style by providing a complete experience.  It begins by defining an infrastructure and flow for teams to use, built on the Red Hat OpenShift platform.  By packaging runtimes and frameworks with code templates as a “stack”, a team can quickly adopt a consistent starting point for their application development.  Cloud Pak for Applications provides integration with GitHub, pre-packaged CI/CD pipeline tasks, and tooling that understands and simplifies building apps for any given stack.  This means that a team no longer needs to worry about having to define a process or method for working in an agile fashion.


Balancing freedom and control for agile teams


One of the challenges that comes from moving to a cloud-native and agile world, where individual teams build sets of microservices, is the concept of control.  A traditional organization might have operated a central IT team that provides control over the IT policy for the company. 


As organizations start to operate decentralized teams, the traditional model of control starts to become a barrier to agility – teams need the freedom to act independently, yet the company needs the reassurance that comes from maintaining central control of policy. 


Cloud Pak for Applications achieves the benefit of decentralized teams as well as the reassurance of policy control through the underlying OpenShift platform and the use of application stacks. 


Application stacks allow policy choices, configuration options, and standard template code to be managed centrally (if desired), then distributed to teams. Teams then benefit when a policy update is made to the stack, because they have a consistent mechanism for adopting the update, rebuilding it, testing it, and ultimately operating it in production.  All of this is underpinned by Red Hat OpenShift and integrated with the core features and capabilities it provides.


The best of the old and the best of the new


Everything evolves, and software is no exception.  One of the interesting features of software, if we ignore latent software vulnerabilities that are often discovered a significant time after release, is that while it ages its performance and effectiveness do not change.  In fact, under some circumstances performance can improve (think about CPU performance).


So why do we want to change it?  Often it is the non-functional requirements and the need for new business capabilities, combined with a changing skill profile within the industry, that trigger the need for change.  But this doesn’t have to affect all applications, and some applications might not benefit from a modernization project if they aren’t a bottleneck to the line of business.


For all the applications that don’t need to change, there are at least as many that do.  These are the applications that represent the “front line” of the line of business. These are the applications that the customer interacts with and need to evolve to avoid being disrupted by the competition.


In a large company it’s likely that the old and the new need to co-exist.  With IBM Cloud Pak for Applications this is easy, because the license provides the ability to run existing applications, such as WebSphere and JBoss, just as you are today. 

At the same time, it provides the flexibility to build and deploy new applications using Red Hat OpenShift with a variety of applications runtimes.  It also includes tooling – Transformation Advisor – that will guide you on a modernization project to transform an older application into a new one.  This really is the best of the old and the new, all in one place.


Ready to find out more


Read the IBM Cloud Pak for Applications V4 Release Notes.

Join our webinar December 10th at 9am ET.

Learn more about Cloud Pak for Apps on our website.

Download the analyst report about the value of IBM and Red Hat.










Fri January 24, 2020 10:25 AM

Another FYI - the Cloud DevOps add-on to the Cloud Pak for Applications includes UrbanCode Deploy and Velocity, which round out the modernization story nicely... there is a blog on recent releases here:

Wed December 11, 2019 06:00 PM

 In a large company it’s likely that the old and the new need to co-exist. Very true. 

Wed December 11, 2019 03:41 PM

FYI... The Cloud Pak for Applications V4 release notes will be posted on the day of the release. V3 release notes can be found here

Also, view the 12/10 CP4Apps webinar replay here